This year I have chosen to do the module that asks us to write a 4000 word essay instead of the more demanding dissertation. After brainstorming some ideas of what topics I would like to write about, I finally came to the decision to write about, perhaps one of my favourite artists of the 20th century, Jean-Michel Basquiat. And with this I have started to research as much as I can so that I am able to write a well rounded essay that will discuss all about the artist and his work. My working essay title at the moment is something like….

Jean-Michel Basquiat – A critical analysis of his life’s work. Rise to fame, and representation of black identity.

This tile may change as I get further into my writing but this is were I would like to direct the essay.

With all the reading I have been doing, I have also found myself some great documentaries (and biopic) which will be an addition to my list of references. Below are the ones I have watched so far, and very much recommend if you are interested in the artist and his work.


Basquiat – Rage to Riches Documentary on BBC Two


The Radiant Child Documentary


Basquiat (1996 biopic)



Kate Gater – PHD Sound Artist

We were visited not too long ago by an unofficial guest lecturer, Kate Gater a PHD student studying at Chester. Kate is a sounds artist, in the same way other multimedia artists work, in video for example. Kate talked about her journey of discovering sound art, she started her education at the University of Bath and later doing a masters degree in Liverpool. She had only been working within sculpture as her main focus, but eventually discovered the art of sound, which sent her work in a completely new direction. Kate played some examples of her work which she uploads to her youtube channel. She also introduced us to a form of sound art called ‘foley’ which is used in film and tv. This part intrigued me the most, being a film lover myself.



Kate also brought in one of her own instruments that she uses in her work to create specific sounds, we all had a go playing this strange instrument and listening to the haunting sounds it could make. I really enjoyed Kate’s presentation and her story about discovering sound art for herself. It was great to have a guest speaker who was fully based in fine art,  passing on her useful information and insight to everyone who was at the talk. And I’m sure well all very much appreciated her taking the time to come and speak to us.



Kate’s Website

YouTube Channel


“Contemporary art often plays to the part of us that is very uncomfortable with not being sure, that cannot maintain a state of ‘don’t know’. The over-prioritising of meaning gets in the way of just experiencing the art in a more sensual way. Judging quality purely from an intuitive emotional response needs more confidence and experience than just working it out like a crossword clue.”   – Grayson Perry

Interim Exhibition and Presentation January 2018

when we finished for  Christmas break, we knew that the Interim exhibition and presentation would soon be coming around the corner. Which is basically a mid way point through  the year for assessment. So over the holidays I was busy working on a number of sculptures and some new paintings that I wanted to exhibit.

I made 7 sculptures all together, which I made with the intention of displaying them on the floor as a type of installation. However, I find that the sculptures are quite versatile and suit pretty much any type of display (plinth or wall piece). As I made them at home, (away from a studio with good lighting), I think I have perhaps lost some of the colour which from the beginning has been my overall identity and aesthetic. Even though some areas of the pieces are very white, I still believe the muted pastel colours carry the work forward.

Along with my sculptures I made 2 paintings which were meant to complement the pieces. I decided to paint the varied versions of my sculptures as an added element. But also I found that painting them somehow validated their existence as real ‘things’. On reflection of the paintings I find I am not completely happy with them and in fact I think I am happier with the sculptures alone . And I think they can stand by themselves without the paintings as back up.

One of the last things I added to my display was the arrangement of some plaster fragments that I have been saving up since the start of the year. These shards of plaster have come from broken, smashed up pieces that I have either done by accident or on purpose. I arranged them quite spontaneously by placing some of the bigger pieces wherever I felt they should go, and sprinkling the other fragments over top. The final addition to this arrangement was some pastel thread that I had been saving for the right time to use it. Again this was a case of laying the thread over the plaster, and leaving it wherever it fell.  I did this piece as an example of were I think my work may go next, as I feel I may begin to strip away the original form as focus on the materials than the shape.

I think my presentation of this work went well. I spoke for maybe just under 15 minutes, about my starting point, my experimentations, progress and where I think I will go next with the work. I found that, after my part of the presentation, I was given some good feedback and asked some helpful questions from my tutors and the technicians. From this I think I will be able to progress onto the next chapter of my work, and basically make a start on producing work that could be display in the degree show.














Materials used – Mod-rock, newspaper, MDF, cardboard,  plaster, acrylic paint, powdered pigment, thread, plastic, canvas.









Wendy Mason from AA2A


AA2A website

AA2A Networking website

As a part of the professional practice module, we have visiting lecturers that come and talk to all of the 3rd years, some from various backgrounds, to give talks on themselves, their career path or a specific topic. On the 20th November, Wendy Mason who is the founder and national director of the AA2A scheme (artist access to art colleges) visited us, to talk about the benefits of becoming self-employed as a possible career path. Wendy spoke about the benefit of becoming self-employed, and also joining the AA2A scheme.

Becoming self-employed is something I have known about, but I never really understood how it can be achieved, and to be completely honest I thought it seemed to be quite complicated. But after the reassuring and incredibly helpful talk Wendy gave, I am considering becoming a self-employed artist after I graduate.

After the talk, Wendy asked us to leave some feedback from the talk, which I was happy to. But also to put down an email address so that she could later send us some more useful information, and links to any other helpful sites to get us going.  The links below were sent a couple of weeks after the presentation

AA2A Self-employment support notes 2017

Self-employment support orgs. Nov 2017

Everyone loves stickers

As I have decided to keep working on the promotion side of the degree show, I wanted to research into what would be the easiest way to spread the message about the show, but not on social media. Posters and leaflets are the usual go to for promoting an event, but because the ‘design’ and name of the show has yet to be finalised, I thought why not create something that will get straight to the point of promoting the exhibition (not to mention something not too time consuming)

Stickers seemed to be the most reasonable idea. And honestly who doesn’t like getting them/using them. I hadn’t realised how easy it was to get some stickers printed, so after doing a bit of research (and trying to find the best price) I created some designs that I later asked around for feedback on.

Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 09.14.25.png

Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 09.14.56.png

Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 20.56.33.png

I tried out a few variations, with colour, overall placement, wording etc. There were a few things to consider when I was making these for example: the colour scheme, size, upper/lower case, how much information to put, use of imagery and so on.  After all this consideration and good feedback from my course-mates, I made the final design (picture below) The main consensus from my peers was that the colour scheme with the gradient was the favourite, and that the hashtag we have been using on the Instagram page (#FEAD2018) should be added, as a way of promoting the work and the students involved with the show. Most agreed that it should be kept quite minimal, information wise, so that if the sticker is spotted by a member of the public, they can find the hashtag via Instagram (possibly Facebook too) to find out more information, and keep up to date.

The final design…

Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 11.00.02.png

Have you spotted any?